Macs at Microsoft? Why not!
Update 2/23: Apparently the infamous Fake Steve Jobs has linked to this two-week-old post because of the little anecdote at the end, with an interpretation I didn’t quite expect. After all, the main purpose of “the wall” is to remind us how awesome the work we’re doing is by comparison. As always, Fake Steve is good for a laugh, although it’s a bit less enjoyable when you’re the one being picked on! ”Microtards?” Ouch. Of course, I think it should hardly be surprising that people in any business compare themselves to their competition. Can you imagine any place where that doesn’t happen?
David Morgenstern over the Apple blog on ZDNet wrote yesterday and said:
Like the Japanese car in the Dearborn auto plant parking lot, Macs and iPhones must create problems for switchers working at Apple competitors as well as companies with a PC-or-die IT policy.
He then goes on to link to this very blog!
However, Microsoft appears to be okay with at least one of its employees running Vista on a MacBook in the office. Blogger Chris Pirillo pointed to Brandon Paddock, a self-described geek who works on search technology at Microsoft (but not in the Microsoft Mac Business Unit, where it’s okay to show up with Mac hardware and software, or at least it is at the “SVC,” the Silicon Valley Campus in Mountain View, Calif.).
It’s true, I’m a Microsoft developer (on Windows no less) with a Macbook. And an iPhone! I’m also rather fond of both of them.
I’m not the only one, either. I see as many iPhones as Blackjacks these days, maybe more. It’s really an awesome device and it doesn’t surprise me at all that geekier folk would pick one up.
I also wasn’t the first on the shell team with a Macbook. My friend David used to be an SDET on the team, but is now a PM. His primary machine is a first-gen black Macbook. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen at least one Macbook Pro in a nearby office, and my boss has an iMac at home.
Many of them are like me, and run Vista pretty much exclusively on them. I know some didn’t even keep the OS X partition around when they installed it. It’s neat to play with once in a while (and the VMware Fusion and Parallels stuff is getting really impressive), but not terribly useful for practical purposes, especially if your life revolves around building a competing OS.
If you do run OS X, you can even get it on our network, although some things like getting on the WiFi take a fair bit of extra work. Luckily there’s an IT help page that walks you through it.
But as I said, in my case it’s pretty much a PC. A stylish, well-put-together PC. I even recently put a Vista orb sticker on top covering the backlit Apple logo (which likes to shine through while it’s running, creating an eerie, ghostly effect). Not because anyone ever cared that I carried a Mac around, but because I’m very proud of the team I work on and what we do there. And it fits perfectly =)
If I haven’t mentioned it before, I love working at Microsoft. I love that I can carry a Macbook around to every meeting and have others think nothing of it. I love that others on the team are willing to look at, use, and sometimes even live with our main competitor’s product. I think it’s important to know what “the other side” is doing, and to understand what users are talking about when they make comparisons. I think it’s also important that we respect the great things they’re doing down there, and strive to do better if we see some area where they’ve got an edge on us.
Little tidbit on that note: One day a friend of mine on the team printed off a couple dozen screenshots of Leopard, showing off various tasks the user can do in OS X, and hung them on one of our hallways. Across from it are pictures of the same tasks in that incredibly well-kept secret of a project that we’re working on. There are post-it notes and markers next to each wall where passersby leave comments / questions.
I wonder if any hallways in Cupertino have something like that?